August 15, 2013 — Amy Radik
When Kurt Gardinier graduated from Wilbur H. Lynch High School, he did not have any college aspirations. “I majored in courses that allowed me to graduate without putting forth any real effort,” says Kurt. “As a newly married Viet Nam veteran, I did not have any solid plans for our future. Logically, it made much sense to enroll at FM to receive some formal education. It was the best decision I could have made. FM’s instructors totally changed my attitude about furthering my education; they impressed upon me the benefits education would have on me and my family.”
Kurt’s accounting professor, Bruce Wadsworth, made a huge impact on him. It was because of Mr. Wadsworth that Kurt got into the accounting profession. “Mr. Wadsworth taught as though his students were his equals and he focused not on theory, but on real world applications of the subject. He made it easy to learn and was particularly helpful with veterans. Because of Mr. Wadsworth and other exemplary professors like him at FM, I went from a ‘simply get by’ high school student to a conscientious four consecutive semester Dean’s List student at FM. FM’s professors paved my way for a successful career in the accounting field,” states Kurt.
Kurt later graduated from Siena College with a BBA in Accounting. Over the years, he has taken various college courses along with the Dale Carnegie course.
“I spent several years in public accounting and positions in the private sector heading up the accounting and finance departments. I did not have any set goal in mind but am pleased to say that I became the CFO for a local construction company. That company has since been acquired by a much larger public company. I became semi-retired for a couple of years and am now working as the Controller for a construction company in Albany. I started there as a consultant and was subsequently hired to take the helm of the Accounting department. My current goal is to organize that department and transition into another semi-retirement,” says Kurt, who is also the founder of the Albany Chapter of CFMA. “The focus of that organization is to continue education for Financial Managers in the construction field and to provide scholarships for those entering local colleges with the desire to be Financial Managers in the construction industry.”
Kurt and his wife live outside of Ballston Spa in the town of Milton. Their oldest child is an assistant professor at St. Lawrence University; their middle child is an Advocacy Specialist with the New York State Justice Center; and their youngest is the producer for RT television in Washington DC.
“Thanks to FM, I taught my children the importance and value of education,” says Kurt. “If it weren’t for FM – the professors with their practical focus on education, the way they prepare students to enter the workforce, and the impetus they provide to further one’s education – I can honestly say I would not be an Accountant or an educated person. FM’s benefits are many, they laid the solid foundation to get me where I am today, and I will always be grateful to my professors.”
Amy Radik is Coordinator of PR & Marketing at FM.